the grass is greener on the internet

Brand rankings by social media sentiment
October 21, 2009, 5:10 pm
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Agencies are always making up rankings to try and get noticed. So when I saw the Sysomos ‘Top Brands by Social Media Presence’ I thought hey, anyone could’ve counted up the number of social media mentions brands get, what’s so special?

But wait…here’s something a bit more interesting.

The top-scoring brands for positive reactions are in green, negative reactions in red. (See the Sysomos page for actual rankings.)
The top-scoring brands for positive reactions are in green, negative reactions in red. (See the Sysomos page for actual rankings.)

They’ve done an additional ranking using their ‘sentiment engine’ (an accurate name but odd image) which analyses whether the mentions are positive or negative from their context.

It’s interesting to note that all of the highest scoring positive mentions are related to electronics – due to review sites perhaps? More surprising then that Apple and Google, the top two from the mentions rankings and general favourites, don’t feature in the sentiment top 5.

It’s also unclear whether positive and negative mentions could cancel each other out or whether they were separate scales.

Do you think it’s accurate?


Why is everyone looking left?
August 23, 2009, 10:23 pm
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The hyena just about says it all

Here’s my biggest marketing LOL since I saw the direct mail invite for marketing week (a leave pass from active duty? why thank you) – except that this is in a good way.

It's better than a mirror.

The new Samsung cameras have two major developments, as far as can  tell; you take a picture by tapping the LCD, and there’s now TWO LCDs…one on the back and one on the front.

Digital cameras have clearly developed from film cameras – it’s obvious from the form and settings. (Uh, exposure? Oops, I didn’t wind up my SD card before I took it out.) So it’s good to see manufacturers starting to step out of the norms and develop the digital camera as technology in its own right. Not sure that this is the most ergonomic or whether an over-enthusiastic tap will ruin the shot, but it’s definitely cooler. (Exhibit 1: iPhone.)

As someone who has been guilty of ‘camerawhoring’ at parties on more than one occasion, I can definitely see a market for being able to see yourself before you take the photo (although it does take the fun out of everyone crowding around afterwards to see how bad the photo was). It also suffers the webcam issue that you can’t look at the image without looking slightly off in the photo. Still, it sorts out problems like ‘OMG you didn’t get my gangsta sign in the frame!’**

There’s one big trip-up which I think could compromise what otherwise looks like a promising camera.

…the name.

iMac, iPhone, iPod…they all roll off the tongue. As I’ve pointed out before, Samsung doesn’t do so well with names. So while this camera will be quite recognisable in-store, I’m not sure I’ll be telling friends “you’ve GOT to get the Samsung ST550/ST500 tap and take!” anytime soon.

**true story.

Samsung: don’t try too hard
April 30, 2009, 10:07 pm
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Maybe it’s a youth thing, or maybe it’s an Aussie thing. But I find there’s just a distaste for people who try too hard – especially when they don’t deliver.

The same goes for brand perception.

So I’ve noticed that electronics giant Samsung seems to be shifting to a younger target demographic. Plenty of R&D, expansion into mp3 players and mobile phones, and plenty of online advertising. As with every shift, it can take a while for actual brand perceptions to catch up. If you push too hard or aren’t yet in the position to fulfil new brand expectations, you can just look desperate.


  • the ‘extreme LED art’ which saw sheep being herded into amusing shapes with Samsung LEDs attached to them – a viral video which actually managed to go viral (probably to the relief of the sheep)


  • a notice sent through StudentVIP, a popular hub for students to get discounts and textbooks, saying ‘Save $100 on beer money instantly*‘. The catch? You don’t actually save $100 on beer money – it’s a cash back offer for a printer. Dangling free beer in front of us then not delivering is not cool. Epic fail.
  • Their mp3 players are practically unknown – and they have some pretty cool stuff going on there. Bluetooth, touch screens, pretty buttons…so why do they have boring names like P2? And why can I not recall seeing any advertising for them?

In between:

  • They’ve released a slew of new touch-screen phones, many of them with ‘smart capabilities’. The Omnia, for example, is quite attractive and quite affordable on a plan. But it inevitably looks like it’s trying to be the iPhone – and it’s not as pretty, not as technologically advanced and doesn’t have the ‘cool’ backing. The only ads I’ve see are on places like, and these phones aren’t being innovative enough for geek approval. But if their R&D department keeps this up, there’s the potential for their brand to gain a lot more ground.

I think Samsung is getting there, slowly… I don’t know what their organisational structure is (marketing is always tough for umbrella brands) but they do need to be more in sync across their three product divisions in terms of their communications and product development. Internal brand synergy, if you will.

They could also look into sustainability issues – their website doesn’t pretend that they have (which is far better than having a weak symbolic gesture, imho) but it’s likely to increase in importance as an issue for consumers, especially youth.